Hushed Pause

The silent headstone–immovable, cold–in the blustery March wind.
Flurries fly in the dark grey sky, circling the cemetery, first rushed, then still–
suspended in place.
Until the wind picks up and whips
the elder pines that encircle the graveyard–
keeping watch, in tight formation, saluting the space of the dead
with the movement of their branches and the echoes
of their haws.
The cold breeze moves the trees , simultaneously, one way, then the next.
In the hush before the next chilled air, the crows fly, from branch to branch–
anticipating the movement of the frigid draft
to keep their end of the bargain with the pines–
and watch over the markers of those who rest
and those who visit.
Cravings for the hushed silence of this sacred land brings those
who need the stones, to see them, to touch them, to care for them.
Headstones are for the living, the dead do not occupy this place.
the watch ensures that this profound place is there,
safe, protected–
for those who need it.

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